From the A.Word.A.Day mailing list:
aufklarung (OUF-klay-roong) noun

The Enlightenment.

{German : auf, up (from Middle High German uf, from Old High German.) + Klarung, a making clear, from klaren, to make clear, from Middle High German klaeren, from klar, clear, from Latin clarus.}

"The idea that a profanity, especially one that was used as more than a casual expletive, could be used as a - pardon - legitimate verb was to me something of an Aufklarung, an enlightenment."

Jon Hahn," A Deposit From Mr. Ed Pays Garden Dividends," Seattle Post - Intelligencer, Oct 26, 1999.

A reader of the mailing list later commented that:
Having received 'aufklarung' or having been 'aufgeklaert' ALWAYS meant, that your parents/elders etc. have told you, not necessarily taught you, the ways of the birds and the bees and how babies were made. I suppose, this is a form of enlightenment, but not necessarily in the way it was presented.

Auf"klä*rung (?), n. [G., enlightenment.]

A philosophic movement of the 18th century characterized by a lively questioning of authority, keen interest in matters of politics and general culture, and an emphasis on empirical method in science. It received its impetus from the unsystematic but vigorous skepticism of Pierre Bayle, the physical doctrines of Newton, and the epistemological theories of Locke, in the preceding century. Its chief center was in France, where it gave rise to the skepticism of Voltaire , the naturalism of Rousseau, the sensationalism of Condillac, and the publication of the "Encyclopedia" by D'Alembert and Diderot. In Germany, Lessing, Mendelssohn, and Herder were representative thinkers, while the political doctrines of the leaders of the American Revolution and the speculations of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine represented the movement in America.

 

© Webster 1913

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.